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Rich Hoyer reports from the Oregon: Birds & Theater tour

September 14: Rich Hoyer reports from the Oregon: Birds & Theater tour

For such a short, compact tour, we packed it in – great birding in with gorgeous scenery, terrific restaurants with delicious variety, and of course some top-notch performances by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival all combined to make this a memorable tour. Though evenings were usually very smoky from distant forest fires in California, our birding up in the mountains was in fresher air, and the side trip to the Klamath Basin and Crater Lake National Park was simply perfect. Owls and woodpeckers were a recurring theme, with Barn Owl, Northern Pygmy-Owl, Acorn Woodpecker, and White-headed Woodpecker among the top five favorite birds. We were surprised by two Ruffed Grouse in the road one morning, which also received multiple votes. Because of the smoke, we missed the two performances in the outdoor Elizabethan theater, but the three we saw indoors were outstanding, with Where We Belong on its opening night a favorite for most of us – even though the only Common Grackle we would see during the tour was on its promotional poster.


This pair of Barn Owls in the welded tuff formation known as the Petroglyph Cliffs was a tour highlight for many.


The Rogue Valley is home to many Acorn Woodpeckers, and at TouVelle park we enjoyed watching them at one of the best-known examples of a granary tree.


On our first morning we spent some time calling in this Northern Pygmy-Owl, which came out of hiding not far above eye level.


Though migration for some is well underway, many birds were still on territory, such as this MacGillivray's Warbler.


We enjoyed several picnics in beautiful settings.

Posted: September 14, 2023